In the first few months of the year, many people consider starting their own businesses. A number are prompted by their New Year’s resolutions! Unfortunately however, most people who have this idea more often than not end up where countless other New Year’s resolutions end up – nowhere! It’s true that business start-ups or the intention for them don’t last for a number of reasons, but the primary reason that many start-up initiatives don’t survive, is because of a lack of information and preparation. If you have decided to take the brave plunge as an entrepreneur, then it’s important to bear a few things in mind.
Firstly, and above all else, you need to be honest with yourself. It’s important to think very carefully about why you want to start up a business, what you expect from the business, and what, and how much you are willing to do to make your business a success. If you are solely focusing on the desired end outcome- for example, of making a lot of money, and you are avoiding thinking about how much work it takes for a small business to survive, then the odds are already stacked against you.
Secondly, you have to recognize that business success is largely about marketing, conversions to sales and numbers. If you are a start-up, you may not have the funds to hire people to take care of these necessities for you, and if this is the case you have to be prepared to learn a sufficient amount about each key aspects of the business. You’ll need to become familiar with branding, marketing, promotions, networking, basic book-keeping and sales. You’ll have to learn all you can about customer service and you’ll have to be prepared to become familiar with all the afore-mentioned elements, even if you are hiring or outsourcing work (which is easy and reasonably-priced enough to do these days), in order to be able to oversee and direct activities, and to move closer to ensuring start-up success. If you aren’t prepared to do these things, or if you don’t at the very least have the right attitude about it, then sadly, your start-up is likely to join the statistics of those that fail.
Thirdly, whilst it is important to learn all you can about every aspect of your business strategically, operationally and functionally, you need to recognize that you can’t do it alone. Whether you have decided to start-up business while working, or are committed to it full-time, the expertise, insight and advice of others is invaluable. Wherever you can, look for like-minds. Network where possible and appropriate, read and join forums and groups and find a mentor as well as a good friend who will hold you accountable, but also act as a sounding board and trusted advisor.
I really hope that the three considerations that I’ve suggested don’t scare you off for wanting to start-up a business. If they have, then I suppose that’s because you possibly weren’t aware of them, and you should see it as a great thing that you now are! Have an open mind, consider the points carefully, prepare yourself mentally and you’ll be ready to step out with your best foot forward! Good luck to you!
(c) 2015, Noleen Mariapppen
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